“We’ll see what happens, is it shut down or they will sell it,” Trump said before boarding Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews. He said there will be “no extension of the TikTok deadline”.
The president’s comments mark just the latest example of his strongman approach to the popular app after he declared in July that he would ban it from operating in the United States. Last month, he said in an executive order that there is “credible evidence” that ByteDance “may take actions that threaten to compromise US national security.”
The app, however, is suing the Trump administration in response to what it called a “heavily politicized”
“We much prefer constructive dialogue to litigation,” TikTok said in a blog post announcing the case. “But with the Executive Order threatening to ban our operations in the United States, eliminating the creation of 10,000 American jobs and irreparably damaging the millions of Americans who turn to this app for entertainment, connection and legitimate livelihoods that they are especially vital during the pandemic – we simply have no choice. “
The app has exploded in popularity in the US and other Western countries, becoming the first Chinese social media platform to gain significant traction with users outside of its home country.
It was downloaded 315 million times in the first three months of this year, more quarterly downloads than any other app in history, according to analytics firm Sensor Tower.
“TikTok user data in the United States is stored in the United States, with strict controls on employee access. TikTok’s largest investors are from the United States. We are committed to protecting the privacy and security of our users as we continue to working to bring joy to families and meaningful careers for those who create on our platform, ”TikTok spokesperson Hilary McQuaide told CNN last month.
Cyber security experts said TikTok’s potential national security risk is largely theoretical, and there is no evidence to suggest that app user data has been compromised by Chinese intelligence.